We all refer to driving as the ability to control the car's direction. Maneuvering it to wherever we want it to go. The said idea lies mainly on the steering mechanism that every automotive is build up with. Although what we often see is the idea that when we move the steering wheel, the tires goes along with it, that does not state the whole steering mechanism. What you saw are just part of the entire mechanism, and there's more underneath it. Just like a system at work, the steering mechanism is built up of parts that help in its purpose. Our simple steering wheel option is multiplied to a number of grave efforts to make the heavy tires turn to the direction that we want it to go.
If it's not the steering wheel and the tires alone, what else is there? That's the usual question of someone who doesn't know much about this. And probably the only time you'd find interest in it is when one of the parts in it breaks down and causes quite a hassle. Now besides the steering wheel and the tires, you also have there a pinion, which is a round gear with teeth around it, a rack and tie rods. Now, all of these parts work hand in hand together to make the actual movement of the wheels, turning and all that, work.
Your Oldsmobile steering rack is a metal bar that has one flat side which has grooves on it that is cut perpendicular to the bar. On the both ends of the steering rack is where the tie rods are connected, which also connects to the wheels. These teeth mesh with that of the pinion's teeth thus making the movement. The description serves greatly on the rack-and-pinion type of steering system. There's also a power steering type of steering system, and many more. The rack and pinion is the most popular though.
Anyway, let's redo how the steering works. You see when you move the steering wheel the movement is passed on turning the pinion. Since it clashes with the rack's teeth, it moves it left or right wherein the steering rack pulls or pushes the tie rods which then makes the tires move to your desired direction. Somehow it's that simple.
However, the problem here lies when out of old age and use; parts of this steering mechanism would soon wear off, rust and get damaged. Of course we all know what that means, trouble. But before that, better have it replaced. An Oldsmobile steering rack, and all other steering mechanism parts, better yet, every car parts needs that you're looking for will be easily answered here at Parts Train: Where only quality, durable and reliable parts are offered.